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Apr 20 2018

No Excuse For Child Abuse: Pinwheels For Prevention

The pinwheel is a simple toy. It consists of a wheel made of folded paper or plastic that is attached to a stick with a pin, and if you catch the wind just right, it will blow in the breeze. It’s a small joy, and a symbol of the simplicity of childhood: carefree, fun, and playful. The pinwheel is the national symbol for healthy and happy children.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign invites everyone to take action by educating, learning more about prevention, and volunteering. In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the new national symbol for child abuse prevention through Pinwheels for Prevention. According to Prevent Child Abuse America, “the pinwheel… has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.”




The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is based on the belief that we must do more than simply respond to cases of abuse, and instead we must work toward preventing abuse from happening in the first place. When children are exposed to extreme conditions that include abuse and stress, it hurts their development mentally, physically, and emotionally In order to get ahead of abuse, programs must be established that create better conditions for healthier childhoods. This includes education for parents, substance abuse intervention and prevention programs for parents, and support for parents, which are all included in home visiting. Empowering adults in order to empower children leads to healthier, happier childhoods.


Thankfully in Arkansas we now have seven different home visiting models to assist children and families in need. Early Head Start (EHS), Following Baby Back Home (FBBH), Healthy Families America (HFA), Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), Parents as Teachers (PAT), and SafeCare Arkansas are all different home visiting models that have a different approach and criteria for services, but are each dedicated to providing education, support, and care to families of young children in order to build brighter futures.

To show support during the month of April, schools, businesses, churches, hospitals, community groups, and organizations plant pinwheel gardens in prominent locations to bring awareness to the cause. The Arkansas Home Visiting Network team planted a pinwheel garden in front of the Arkansas Children’s sign and donned Prevent Child Abuse buttons and blue balloons.


If you would like to show your support, you can check out how to get involved here! Our AHVN Training Institute also has a free child abuse prevention module available online here. To show support in April and every day, strive to nurture the children in your life and make every interaction positive and loving. Keep your eyes peeled for blue pinwheels in your community. Be a voice for those who are voiceless.

For more information, contact Lacye Vance, Healthy Families America MIECHV Arkansas State Lead

Email: vancelb@archildrens.org

Phone: (501) 364-3349

 

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